Suzanne Holman Farrington

Suzanne Holman Farrington is Vivien Leigh’s only child, born from her marriage to Herbert Leigh Holman. She is still alive and living in England. She is an extremely private person and does not wish to do interviews about her famous mother.

Had a baby- a girl

Suzanne Holman was born at a nursing home at 8 Bulstrode Street on October 12, 1933. Vivian was just 19 years old and not even married a year. Vivien’s diary entry on this day simply read, “Had a baby- a girl.” Vivian confessed to a friend, “Never again- it is a messy business!” Anne Edwards describes the birth in her book Vivien Leigh: A Biography, “Suzanne was born a month prematurely and the delivery was not any easy one. It was several weeks before mother and daughter came home, but once there it did not take Vivian long to become bored, as the household was being run quite adequately by the staff, and baby Suzanne was well tended by the nurse nanny.” So, Vivian pursued her acting career. Her big break came when she was cast in the play The Mask of Virtue. The critics adored her and raved about her: “Vivien Leigh shines in a new play!” Gossip reporters flocked around Vivien and snapped her photo holding her new baby, Suzanne. The caption for this photo read “This tiny, slender-boned little creature with the grey eyes and delicate heart-shaped face, has more responsibilities on her shoulders than most women twice her age would care for. She is able to take them lightly and yet competently because- having had marriage and motherhood and stardom thurst on her before she was twenty- she has had to solve a problem that has wrecked the lives of women far more experienced than herself. She has learnt the trick of combining marriage with a strenuous career.”

Vivien’s career comes first

As Vivien became more involved and more successful with her acting career, her husband and her daughter became less important. During this time she met and fell in love with the handsome Laurence Olivier. Gwen Robyns explains: “[Leigh Holman] knew that Vivien was completely intoxicated with the theatre and that there was no way back to normal married life. Added to this was the undeniable glamour and showmanship of Laurence Olivier who was then at the height of his physical attraction.

It was not that Vivien Leigh and Leigh Holman were unhappy together. It was merely that they had completely different temperaments- and now completely different worlds . . . Baby Suzanne remained with [Leigh Holman] until Vivien’s mother, Mrs. Hartley, took her to Canada during the war years. It was not until the last 10 years of Vivien’s life that Suzanne, now Robin Farrington, and her mother were to become real friends and know each other intimately.”

After Vivien divorced Leigh Holman and married Laurence Olivier, Vivien had become an international superstar through her contribution to Gone with the Wind. Vivien did not have time for her daughter who was merely 7 years old at this time. Though Vivien’s mother and Vivien’s first husband were responsible for Suzanne’s upbringing, Vivien had great concern for her daughter’s well being. Vivien occasionally visited her daughter but it was not until the late 1950s that they truly had a mother-daughter relationship. Vivien would take vacations with Suzanne and her first husband. It was a natural thing to do, for Vivien, but the press often raised an eyebrow at the arrangement. Vivien remained close to her first husband and considered him a confidant. Robyns explains: “Vivien loved travelling and lazing in the sun, Suzanne adored being with her parents.”

Suzanne grows up

Shortly after returning from a holiday in Italy with her parents, Suzanne announced her engagement to Robin Farrington, a 29 year old insurance broker. Suzanne was married on December 6. The wedding reception was held at the Hyde Park Hotel. Leigh Holman, Vivien Leigh, and Laurence Olivier were all in attendance at this joyous occasion. Almost exactly one year later, on December 5, Suzanne gave birth to her first child. A boy. He was named Neville Leigh Farrington. The newspapers declared: “SCARLETT O’HARA NOW GRANDMA.” Vivien was quoted as having said “It’s divine. I’ve been a godmother loads of times, but being a grandmother is better than anything.” She raised her glass and toasted with a bit a gin. Suzanne later gave birth to two more sons, Rupert and Jonathan. She has at least 3 great granddaughters: Amy, Sophie and Ashua.

Present Day Suzanne

Suzanne is still alive today. “Where is Suzanne today?” and “What happened to Vivien’s daughter?” are the 2 most frequent questions I get asked concerning Vivien’s personal life. ‘Suzie’ was thought to be living in Canada, but recent reports indicate she infact lives in the UK. Specifically, she lives near the Shaftesbury, Dorset area. Her husband, Robin Farrington, has a school of music named after him at Port Regis. The Port Regis website goes into more detail, “Robin Farrington, the previous Chairman, who shared with me much of the early thinking and planning of the project, was not with us at the Opening to take his share of the credit, but we were delighted and honoured to be able to welcome Suzie and other members of the family to this wonderful occasion.” At the opening cermony in 2003, Suzanne cut the ribbon on behalf of her late husband. Robin Farrington had died on June 13, 2002 (read an article about his death HERE). As of the early 1990s, Suzanne was still owner of Manor Farm in Zeals, the estate her father Leigh Holman had bequeathed to her. I do not have any additional information or contact numbers for Suzanne.